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Targa top, targa for short, is a semi-convertible car body style with a removable roof section and a full width roll bar behind the seats. The rear window can be fixed or removable, making it a convertible-type vehicle. In common usage, any piece of metal or trim which rises up from the side of a car and continues in an uninterrupted line over the roof and down the other side may be called a targa band, targa bar or a wrapover band. Targa tops are different from T-tops, which have a solid, non-removable bar running between the top of the windscreen and the rear roll-bar.

The word targa first came into use from the 1965 Porsche 911 Targa, though the first production car with this system as an option was actually released five years before; namely the 1961 Triumph TR4 where it was commonly called a Surreymarker top. It was also used on the 1964 SAAB Catherina. The name was first adopted by Porsche after the Targa Floriomarker road race in which they entered, used type of body style to allow a quicker entry and exit to the car by drivers in 1962 and many race cars adopted it, especially Ford and its rival at the time, Ferrarimarker in the 1960s and early 1970s for twistier road courses.

This body style became popular in the 1960s and 1970s, when there were fears that the Department of Transportation (DOT) in the United Statesmarker would ban convertibles, due to concerns over the safety of occupants when a car overturns. As a result, manufacturers adopted Targa tops or T bars. As Porsche helped to popularise this body style, they took out a trademark for the Targa name and manufacturers sought for alternative names for their removable roof.

The introduction of the Mazda MX5 in 1989 saw a revival of convertibles as recent models had roll bar incorporated into the front windscreen. Targa and T-top numbers have slowly declined as manufacturers discontinued them in favour of full convertibles with retractable hardtops.

Glass roof

1996 saw the debut of a retractable glass roof in the Porsche 993 Targa, a design continued on the 996 Targa. The glass roof retracted underneath the rear window revealing a large opening. A shade was there to help prevent the greenhouse effect of the closed roof. This system was a complete redesign, as previous Targa models had a removable roof section and a wide B-pillar functioning as a roll bar. The new glass roof design allowed the 993 Targa to retain nearly the same side-on profile as the other 911 Carrera variants and eliminated the inconvenience of storing the removed top of the old system. The Targa had the body of the Cabriolet with the Targa glass roof replacing the fabric roof. The 911 Targa continued with the all-new 996-model and gained a lifting hatchback glass window. This, in turn, was used on the later 997 model of 911.

Examples of traditional Targa-Top

Examples of the Targa car and T-bar top body style include:

See also

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